Headlines > News > Armadillo Aerospace Launches Successfully from Spaceport America

Armadillo Aerospace Launches Successfully from Spaceport America

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Dec 7, 2011 10:34 am via: source
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New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today a successful launch over the weekend of an advanced sounding rocket designed and built by Armadillo Aerospace. The launch took place from Spaceport America’s vertical launch complex on Sun., Dec. 4. The test flight was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Armadillo Aerospace, as the company is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies.

Saturday’s Armadillo launch successfully lifted off at approximately 11:00 a.m. (MST), which was within the dedicated, five-hour launch window, and reached its projected sub-orbital altitude of 137,500 feet (41.91 km).

“This successful test of our “STIG A” reusable sub-orbital rocket technology represents major progress for the Armadillo Aerospace flight test program,” said Neil Milburn, Vice President of Program Management at Armadillo Aerospace. “The flight successfully demonstrated many of the technologies that we need for our manned sub-orbital program.” Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable rocket-powered vehicles and plans to provide a platform for civilian access to suborbital space via its partnership with Space Adventures, Ltd.

“Spaceport America has been an ideal launch facility for this kind of vehicle R&D testing activity,” said John Carmack, President and CTO of Armadillo Aerospace.

The vehicle housed a scientific payload as well. The experiment was designed, built, tested, integrated, and performed by a team of undergraduate students at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. The experiment studied a liquid and gas flow process that is sensitive to the gravity and acceleration levels encountered during spaceflight.

The latest launch represents yet another successful experience at Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. “We are extremely pleased to support Armadillo Aerospace as they conduct their high altitude vehicle flight testing, and look forward to hosting their NASA-funded suborbital research launches. Spaceport America continues to set the precedent for safe, efficient, effective service for commercial spaceflight customers,” said NMSA Executive Director Christine Anderson. This Armadillo Aerospace launch marks the thirteenth vertical launch test from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Complex since 2006.

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